Tag Archive: Medicine



Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical ExaminerWorking Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of all, don’t read this book before going to sleep. Or you won’t, especially from the part about 9/11 on. Still, it is such an engaging read. And the narrator, Tanya Eby, made the book lively, even though much of it is about death.

If Grey’s Anatomy has taught me anything about the life of a potential surgeon, it is the lack of sleep and how dangerous that lack can be for the doctor and the patient. It is that lack of sleep and trying to be a young mother that the author, Judy Melinek, realized she needed a different path, even though this path was nearly finished for the author. But all that training did lead her to be a Medical Examiner in New York.

We Americans hide from sex and death. We can talk of taxes until the cows come home. But of the two topics, death seems the least discussed. And that is too bad. We need to know about that part of life for ourselves and our loved ones.

If you are a writer, this book can be quite the reference. I can see many ways the book can be used to write a mystery or lend credence to a fatality in the novel.

I highly recommend this book, especially in audio form. I was lucky to pick it up from the library on Libby.

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Go Tell the Bees That I Am GoneGo Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As much as I love all the Outlanders, this may be my favorite. The sad part is that the next book isn’t ready to read. So now I am floundering with Diana Gabaldon’s novellas. And Davina Porter makes Ms. Gabaldon’s writing shine!

Don’t let it scare you; think honey, not stingers. Bees do play a part in telling this story. My takeaway is to always talk to the bees; they want to know.

As with the rest of the series, this book is educational about the American Revolution. It is inspirational as I long to read and research our history to know more than I learned in school. It proves my point that the student will feel curious if you throw in a bit of magic.

Ah, but, Diana, why did you have to leave this on a cliff? Especially knowing that it would be ages until your perfected sequel (as opposed to the Game of Thrones hurried ending by someone else.) But it wasn’t a high cliff, so I’ll tolerate it knowing our heroes will be safe somehow and once again save the day.

I love, love, love all the lessons the Frasiers and friends have to teach us and can’t wait for more.
If you get the chance, please listen to these books in audio form as Davina Porter brings the story to life.

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Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human CadaversStiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The narrator, Shelly Frasier, made this book so exciting and fun. Well, despite this book being about cadavers and all.

The book was nonfiction, but the author’s stories keep a heavy and sad topic intriguing. Mary Roach includes a history of how humans have handled the dead. She also shows the research of what is working and what is actually causing harm to us and the planet.

I feel the blurb says it best, and with it, you may know if this is for you or not. I might have said no, but a friend told me about it, and she’s usually a bit more squeamish, but she loved it.

“A contagiously cheerful exploration of the cruel diligences executed on some of our bodies when, after death, we abandon them on the threshold of their graves, this book shows us cadavers turned into carcasses, and scientific experiments, the deceased who contribute to the progress of medicine with perforated genitals and extracted eyes, flesh flung from airplanes or shot with bullets to verify the efficiency of new weapons, and discards crucified like Jesus or devoured by maggots. Mary Roach has written a book that explores the great beyond in order to show us the more visible and deplorable side of the next life.”

Try it, you might like it, and possibly learn something. By the way, I got my audio copy from Libby. For those that don’t know it is a library lending service for Kindle or Audiobooks.

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The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes NaturallyThe Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally by Jason Fung
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually finished this one a few days ago. It was a library Kindle book. As usual, I used text-to-speech to get through it.

I read the Obesity Code first. So this is the follow-up book. The information is similar in that it is about Intermittent Fasting and how it can help both conditions, obesity, and diabetes. I found both books quite interesting and inspirational. Though this one seems to have redundancies and often repeated itself. I figure that was to keep the medical eyes reading. There were a lot of charts to help prove Doctor Jason Fung’s theory.

If you are interested in IF, please give this and his other books a look. I think I need to get the hard copy as a reference.

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The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery (The Wellness Code Book 3)The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery by Jason Fung
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a surprise. I thought it was going to be a bit of a dull read. Especially since I was reading it at bedtime. But bedtime is the time to read something dull. It helps you sleep, right? Nope! This was very interesting. I found myself engrossed in the information staying up as late reading this as any sci-fi or fantasy I usually read. Despite the facts and figures of the research the author pursued, he was able to keep the subject matter personable. The occasional pun kept my mind in the read.

I was fortunate enough to get this copy from our library. I highly recommend this book.

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Oh, Nurse!: One Man’s Journey Through the Nursing Life, a Personal Account of the Highs and LowsOh, Nurse!: One Man’s Journey Through the Nursing Life, a Personal Account of the Highs and Lows by David Daniels
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When the author asked me to review this book I stated that I mostly read books by females with strong female leads. But I took a moment and realized that this was a male nurse. He knew where I was coming from, and he’d proven himself. So I figured his book deserved my read.

It was good. If my feet and back could have handled it, I would have tried to be a doctor or a nurse. I was a candy striper with that aim. But not only couldn’t I handle it physically, when one of my patients died I found that to be too hard to take. Granted I was sixteen, not enough life experience to know people come and go from your life. But that little bit of experience made what I read in Oh, Nurse! ring even truer.

As I usually say when reviewing a biography or autobiography, this is someone’s life. It is hard to play judge and jury when watching them walk in their own shoes. I wish I would be able to say this book encourages future nurses. But, with medical marriage with insurance, I don’t think it is going to get better any time soon. The greatest profession should still be nursing. They are the patient advocate, or at least they should be. They are invaluable to doctors, at least they should be.

I have always loved shows like Greys Anatomy, ER, all those medical shows. They are there to give us all an eye into what is happening or can happen when personalities and money are involved in trying to take care of medical issues people present with.

I hope that in spite of his honest story of his life as a nurse, others will choose to go into that career. I hope his story opens the eyes of those in charge of our medical needs to how to make things right for all.

Good job, David Daniels!

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The Hot ZoneThe Hot Zone by Richard Preston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Do I say “Research?” It is due to the fact that I am writing a fictional ‘zombie’ book for NaNoWriMo that I picked up the Kindle and Audible versions of this book. My zombies are merely sick people. I am not a medical person so I needed some input on how it all starts and how contagious it all is. As it turns out it isn’t as bad as Ebola, but the gore of my book might evolve due to this book.

Meanwhile, this is a book I put off for decades. I remember a guy named Jason at the school I worked at that came up to me with the paperback. He was so excited about it. But the more he talked the squirmier I got. “And it’s a true story!” He exclaimed. I started watching shows like Outbreak. We saw it in the theater. Remember that sneeze? I nearly ran out of there when someone coughed.

I grew–good or bad, I guess that’s for others to judge. But lately, I can watch a disaster movie, or The Walking Dead and notice only the social reaction to the monsters or the disease or the overwhelming snow. So I thought I could now face this book.

Reading happens at bedtime. Bet you can guess how this book blended into dreams. And since I listened as I read the Kindle with the Audible, that voice! Richard M. Davidson’s voice. What a deep bass and excellent for the genre! Creepy and authoritative! Wow!

What I learned is that my characters in my book were dressed properly to deal with their strains of disease. And I learned I never want to be anywhere near someone coughing! If I was a germaphobe before… well, let’s just say there isn’t enough hand sanitizer in the world for me!

Knowing this is nonfiction made this even more frightening. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago there was an Ebola scare. What a horrid disease! And this author did a poetic job of helping the reader to see it and feel it. If you haven’t read it yet, climb out of your hiding place and give it a try. Forewarned is forearmed as they say. Might as well get the Audible version to make it even more real. I will try to read more of his books now. Time for more vitamin C and Airborne!

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Power of Vitamin D
Power of Vitamin D by Sarfraz Zaidi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is, I think, the third book on the importance of Vitamin D in our lives that I’ve read recently. And I have to say this was the best written of them all. Though not as personable as the others, the design with the references at the end of each chapter, made it so much easier to get through. I could use the text-to-speech to save my eyes the strain and merely turn that feature off to page down to the next chapter without hearing long streams of numbers, dates, and names.

This was probably the most conservative of the books. Doctor Sarfraz Zaidi tended to recommend far less Vitamin D than the other authors had. He did admit, though, that there were very few studies of actual Vitamin D toxicity from overdose, which reflected what I read in the other ebooks about the subject. This would be a great book to start with in researching this important vitamin. It really isn’t a vitamin, but a hormone that we are globally deficient in.

On a personal note, one doctor told me I was deficient. The next doctor told me I was too high in Vitamin D. So I feel I have first-hand experience with the lack of knowledge that the medical world has. So I have taken the advice of all three books in upping my supplementation of D. I believe that my experience with ‘fibromyalgia’ is merely my deficiency of Vitamin D. As soon as I can I will have a better view of whether or not this is true. I am being cautious and not taking nearly what was recommended in the other two books. The only variable that concerns me is Summer. I always feel better in the Summer. Hopefully, by next Winter, I will have caught up on the vitamin. Maybe next year I won’t be stuck in bed all the time.

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Coconut Oil: How To Implement Coconut Oil In Your Diet For Weight Loss, Detox And Better Health (Coconut Oil Handbook
Coconut Oil: How To Implement Coconut Oil In Your Diet For Weight Loss, Detox And Better Health (Coconut Oil Handbook by Daniel Adam
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is mainly about the benefits of coconut oil. There are a few recipes including a way to use the oil in a cleanse diet. I doubt with my diabetes and fibromyalgia that I will do that fast, but I do feel encouraged to use the oil more often. I do already use it to cook my tofu and pour on GMO-free popcorn and, if I remember, I rub it into my skin or hair. I try to use only coconut oil an not other oils or spreads.

This is a quick read. I recommend it to anyone who is curious about coconut oil

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Review: Proximity


Proximity
Proximity by M.A. George
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked up this book on an author-giveaway-day on Smashwords. Somehow I forgot that I already had it. Then Kindle had a freebie day and I pick it up there, too. Does that ever happen to you? I look at the cover, it does play into how I feel about a book. Then I read the blurb and about the author. This book must have passed those criteria with flying colors!

After a slow start, getting to know the characters, Proximity took off. I was hooked. From about 60% of the book, I couldn’t stop reading. In fact, I was still reading at 5 this morning. Thank goodness for an ending that didn’t leave me hanging. Sure there was a few threads that need to be taken care of, but I was left elated which, of course, made me wakeful, wondering how the next bits will be taken care of. (Non-spoiler enough?)

I can’t wait for payday so I can get the next book. Thank you M.A. George for writing such a different, kind of story. Oh, and I need to mention how I loved that the characters were very well educated with goals and talents, along with a little romance. Very good!

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